Health Insurance for individuals and Families
General Information on Student Health Insurance Plans
The Affordable Care Act has been a game changer for students. It used to be that you had to be a full-time student and under 25 to qualify for health coverage under your parents’ plan. However, the new law allows for all children under 26 to hop on their parents health plan, as of 2014. It may be cheaper, however to buy your own plan. There are traditional plans to enroll in now or off-Exchange plans and the new ACA plans known as the Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum plans for an initial coverage date of January 1, 2014.
While it would be great if there were special health insurance discounts for students, this is usually not the case. Unless there is a plan offered by your school, students purchasing individual health insurance will buy the same plan at the same price as non-students. So it begs the following question…
What is the best health plan for college students?
Again, there are used to be’s, a male student in the past would generally be able to get a less expensive plan than a female student. Or a student with preexisting conditions could be excluded from health coverage. This is not the case anymore. As of 2014, every health plan must offer guaranteed issuance regardless of preexisting conditions, and male and females are charged the same. So what do you really need to look for? Find a plan that offers the network of doctors and hospitals that you would like to use, determine your budget for both monthly costs and when you seek medical care. There are also subsidies for on-Exchange plans, that help those who qualify pay for medical expenses:
- Premium Subsidies: to help with the monthly cost
- Cost-Sharing Subsidies to help with deductibles, coinsurance, and copays
What else do you students need to consider?
Prior to the ACA many plans didn’t include maternity or prescription drug coverage, but now they are part of the essential health benefits. What you should get is a stand-alone dental plan.
If you are ready go ahead and take a look at quotes for your state. Or if you are questioning whether you should even get health insurance read about whether a young person should opt for an ACA penalty (it has a Colbert video in it).